Prinect Workflow Enables Seckman Printing to Maximize Resources While Limiting Personnel
KENNESAW, GA—May 6, 2010—Seckman Printing of Forest, VA, became one of the first U.S. adopters of Heidelberg Prinect Prinance when it agreed to beta-test the MIS solution six years ago. It also pioneered in production automation by installing Heidelberg’s Delta technology, a modular workflow of which the Prinect family of workflow software is the direct descendant.
Since then, Seckman’s Prinect capability has steadily evolved to include Prinect Prepress Manager, the world’s first prepress workflow based entirely on the JDF standard; Prinect Prepress Interface, which turns imposition data into ink presets and other machine parameters; and Prinect Image Control, a color measurement system integrated into the Prinect CP 2000 Center consoles that control Seckman’s 6-color Speedmaster XL 105 and 6-color Speedmaster SM 102.
According to Barry Witt, Seckman’s prepress manager, the two most compelling reasons to pursue workflow automation are “maximizing resources and limiting personnel.” Thanks to Prinect, Seckman Printing has accomplished both by doubling its prepress throughput without adding prepress personnel, and even shedding a position or two.
Even more quantifiable is the difference in the volume of jobs completed on a daily basis before and after Prinect. “On a good day,” said Witt, “we’ll run 50 jobs through prepress from proof to plate, with just four people in prepress.” On the busiest days, as many as 75 jobs may be cycled through. This is a far cry from Seckman’s pre-automation days, when, according to Witt, “30 jobs would have mired us” with their physical job jackets piling up in the daily logjam of a manual workflow.
Prinect MetaDimension is the prepress RIP, and impositioning is handled by Prinect Signa Station, which Witt calls “the best layout program I have ever worked with.” Prinance underpins it all by amassing job information that can be sent to the plant’s other Prinect components as job prep and machine setup instructions. Once a job quote is finalized, Prinance automatically generates a digital job jacket that can populate the other modules—in Witt’s words, “like a wizard”—with the information it contains. Signa Station, for example, uses data from Prinance to create press impositions.
The Race Is To the Swift
Producing twice as much work in the same amount of time without adding staff represents “a massive return on investment” for Seckman Printing, Witt said. But perhaps the biggest payoff of automation via Prinect, he said, is the fact that it keeps the company competitive in a marketplace where the advantage belongs to those able to turn work around faster than anyone else.
Established in 1972, Seckman Printing primarily serves direct mailers in its region. The company employs 70 people in a 58,000-square-foot plant where the Heidelberg equipment lineup also includes a 2-color Speedmaster SM 102 perfector; a Suprasetter 105 CtP unit with multi-cassette loader; a pair of POLAR 137 cutters with integrated pile lifting, jogging and offloading; a POLAR 92 cutter; and three Stahlfolders.
The company’s heavy reliance on Heidelberg technology is based on the manufacturer’s track record of reliability and responsiveness, Witt affirmed. “We’re pretty brand-specific,” he said. “When we have a problem, we know who we have to call.”